Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dear Hobby Lobby…

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I'm not going to bother stating much about Hobby Lobby because most of it has already been said.  These four articles (while not exactly brand new) cover it pretty well. 

Me, though, I’ve stopped shopping there.  If I can’t get it at Michael’s, I find it online.  I’ve been told JoAnn’s is a pretty good place, too, so I’m going to check them out sooner or later. 

So rather than re-hash all the “Hobby Lobby is evil” crap, I’ve decided instead to tell four different stories that I think do a good job of illustrating why we need to be careful of a slippery slope that might lead us back to where we were…

First story: One that’s near and dear to me.  Many years ago – okay, so maybe 30 or so – my mother went to open up a bank account with some money she had earned selling her crochet patterns.  She brought a check to the bank down the street.  They would not let her open a personal account without her husband’s permission.  Seriously.  My father, according to the bank, had to come down and allow her to have a private account.  He could have opened one without her, but she could not open one without him.  Fast-forward twenty years.  She decided to go back to her maiden name.  Technically, all she needed to do was show up at Social Security with a form.  But when she got there, they questioned her.  Why was she changing it?  Did she have permission from her husband?  Had they gotten divorced?  She pointed out that since it was her maiden name, she could choose to use it again at any time.  In the end, they allowed her to change it, but she had to fight them.  And she shouldn’t have had to.

Second story: One of my mother’s friends that I got to know.  When she had her child, back in the 1960s, she got stuck in the hospital.  Why?  Because her husband had been deployed, and she was not allowed to check herself out of the hospital.  She had to wait for her father to come sign her out.  If she had been a single mother, she could have left, but since she was married, she was as good as “owned.”

Third story: A friend’s mother was left on the operating table in the middle of a C-Section.  This was around 1968 or so.  Why was she left there?  Well, the doctor left her to go ask her husband in the waiting room if he should go ahead and tie her tubes so that she wouldn’t have any more babies.  Did the doctor ask her?  No.  He asked her husband.  Luckily, even though her husband was a complete asshole that she wound up divorcing, he still responded the proper way – “Why are you asking me? Go ask her!”

Fourth and final story: And this one is a doozy.  Back in 1944, my father was born.  His mother was knocked out for the birth, as was common at the time.  She woke up, they presented my father, and home she went with her son.  Then she went back for a check-up, and the nurse said, “Oh, and you’re the one who had twins.”  She said, “No, I had a single baby – my son.”  At which point both she and nurse became very confused.  What had happened was that she had, in fact, given birth to twins.  One of them was stillborn.  The doctor, not wanting to stress her out, had gone ahead and just gotten rid of the dead twin.  He hadn’t told her.  But it was there on the birth certificate – twin birth, one stillborn. 

Horrified yet?  I hope so.  Whenever I hear that we should let men make decisions, that we don’t need feminism, that everything will be okay, I think about those stories, and I know that I can’t shop at Hobby Lobby.  And I hope you can’t shop there, too.

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